Monthly Archives: November 2013

Chanterelle Orzotto

I have finally started making recipe card prints again. Summer disappeared in a flash this year and so so far I have spring and only one vegetable from summer done… Not great progress but the ball seems to be rolling once more.

Here are some beautiful chanterelles I picked up from our local farmers market The Goods Shed

I get excited by wild mushrooms and haven’t found chanterelles myself before. Thought these would make some lovely prints and an even better lunch. And so to work!
Here are the prints



And here my lovely autumnal lunch…

I love making risotto-style dishes with different grains. Pearl barleyotto, speltotto and orzotto are my usual favourites. Orzo is a very useful and delicious rice-shaped pasta which you can get in most good food shops now. This recipe is very simple.

~ Start by making a bowl of saffron stock. Simply pour freshly boiled water over a pinch of saffron strands, some salt and pepper in a glass bowl or jug.

~ fry a large, finely diced onion and some chopped garlic in a wide pan with olive oil and a knob of butter. Fry on medium until the onions soften and start to colour.

~ add your portions of orzo pasta with a splash of Marsala wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed by the pasta.

~ add your chanterelles (or whichever mushrooms you like) to the pan with a ladleful of saffron stock. Stir until the liquid is absorbed.

~ add another ladleful of stock, stir until the pasta has drunk it all up and keep repeating until the pasta is cooked through.

~ taste for seasoning and finish off the dish with a dash of cream, some chopped parsley and finely grated hard cheese. The cream and cheese is not strictly necessary and this dish could very easily be made vegan if you leave them and the butter out. (Easily gluten free too if you substitute the orzo for risotto rice.) Very nice with toasted nuts/seeds on top!

Enjoy! Liz x


Wild mushrooms on polenta

This simple and elegant dish is one of our favourite ways of showcasing a freshly foraged batch of wild mushrooms. Of course you should feel free to substitute shop bought mushrooms here. Only ever pick mushrooms you are 100% sure are edible.

First job is sorting through the mushrooms and cutting out any bits that have a slightly too high maggot-to-mushroom ratio for your taste, wiping off any dirt and slicing as you like. We like to keep the little ones whole and slice bigger ones so that they keep their mushroomy shape.



Here we have a selection of little ceps and boletus’, puffballs and beautiful little amethyst deceivers. Fry them all up in a little olive oil, garlic and butter with salt and plenty of black pepper. Set to one side on your stove to keep warm and get started on the polenta. I normally use a finely ground variety as I am the most impatient person on the planet but feel free to use a courser polenta if that is what you like to do. Just perhaps start cooking it before the mushrooms…

The basic rule for any polenta is one part polenta to four parts liquid (water/stock). Be aware that polenta swells up almost unbelievably so a small coffee cup will more than adequately feed two hungry adults. Put your liquid into a pot (I used freshly boiled water, a veg stock cube and some chilli flakes and rosemary) and bring to the boil. Add the polenta and whisk on a high heat until it starts to thicken. Turn down the heat and keep stirring until when you taste it, it is smooth and creamy, almost like mashed potatoes, rather than grainy. Add a generous knob of butter and some grated cheese. Check for seasoning and give it one last stir before pouring into bowls and topping with the oozy fried mushrooms. A sprinkling of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley does not go amiss here, nor does another fine grating of cheese. Enjoy! Liz x



We had a little Halloween party at the cafe and here is some of the food we did…

Rice Krispie cakes with chocolate button grave stones and ghosts. Ghostly mini meringues. Pumpkin and ginger cake.

Spooky bananas (with mini dark chocolate button faces) and pumpkin satsumas (with celery stalks).

Hummus, carrot and olive cracker bugs.

Pumpkin hummus vomit! This was my favourite bit, thanks Adam you wonderful man! Here is his recipe…

-Dice your favourite and most orange-fleshed squash (he used a mix of crown prince and kuri, kabocha is wonderful for this too, butternut would be fine of course but do try the more interesting and rich flavoured squashes that are available at this time of year)
-Toss in olive oil and roast in a hot oven until soft.
-Pulse in a food processor with a similar volume of rinsed and drained tins of chick peas, salt and pepper to taste, a big scoop of tahini, a few crushed cloves of garlic and the juice of a large lemon. Drizzle olive oil as you pulse.
-Stop drizzling olive oil and pulsing when you reach your desired consistency.
-Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon/tahini/garlic/salt as you like.
-Serve coming out of a grotesquely carved pumpkin with bread sticks, flat breads, toast, carrot sticks….or whatever you fancy eating it with.

Simple and spectacular.
Liz x